Termite Inspections for Home Buyers

If you're buying a home, having the home inspected for termites beforehand is usually required by the lender before they approve the mortgage. The lender will require that you have a licensed termite inspection (as well as a general home inspection) performed before the sale is finalized.  

A termite inspection can also save buyers headaches later on if there are visible signs of termite damage that are found prior to the closing. The buyer definitely needs to know whether the home has an existing termite problem and the extent of the damage so they can decide whether to walk away from the deal or ask the seller to make the necessary repairs.

The termite inspection is typically an expense borne by the home buyer and it is definitely worth the price in the event that visible termite infestations are found. However, these inspections frequently fall short since visible signs of termite damage do not always mean that there isn’t an active termite problem.

When a termite inspection is done, the inspector is looking for visible signs of termites and the only thing that would be visible would be mud tubes, termite damage, or old evidence of swarming termites. The problem is that termites do not show themselves until the damage is occurring and it is very easy to pass a termite inspection and still have termites. So although the termite inspection report will correctly state that termites are not “in or on your structure”, the problem is that if termites are within three feet of your foundation, it almost impossible for the inspector to see the hidden damage.

Does Cooper provide home inspection reports for real estate transactions?

Generally the answer is no. The reason we do not provide this service is because we believe that in order to successfully inspect for termites, we need to monitor for termites that are not visible or that may be lurking around your home. In order to do this effectively, we need to install our monitoring system for a minimum of 4 warm months before we can say that there is no pre-existing termite condition. However, if the seller is willing to provide the buyer with a 4 month window during the early spring and summer to allow us to monitor for termites, then we will gladly perform this service. The problem is that in most cases the real estate transaction does not allow for the buyer to monitor the property for an extended period of time and sellers definitely don’t want us to find termites on their property which could result in them being liable for repairs to the home and potentially having the buyer back out of the deal.